By Kenneth Jukpor
Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has sealed PS Maritime Company for dishonouring the Council’s resolution that the company refunds N200,000.00k it received from T. Time Petroleum Services for barges.
Following a mediatory meeting convened by the Council on April 16th, 2018, between PS Maritime Company Nigeria, T. Time Petroleum Services and Emsee Shipping, it was agreed that the liability of $15,000 generated between December 29th-30th 2015 is to be borne by T. Time Petroleum being the legitimate earning of the facility manager.
According to Shippers’ Council, additional charges of N200,000 for barges and fender was legitimately paid by T. Time Petroleum. However, the meeting observed that 4 and half unutilized hours should be refunded to T. Time Petroleum Services summed which was up to the tune of N259,000 as against N67,500 that was refunded by PS Maritime Company.
PS Maritime was sealed on Thursday last week after it failed to honour the resolution despite series of reminders by the Council.
Meanwhile, Cosco Shipping Line has been reopened after it was shut down by the Council.
The sealing of Cosco on February 21st, 2018 was a result of observed infractions by the line bothering on refusal to refund to Sunflag Steel Nigeria Limited overbilled demurrage charges amounting to $23,048.08.
The Complaint Unit had earlier mediated on the matter and after several meetings, it was agreed by all parties that Cosco should refund the sum of $23,048.08. However, after our enforcement exercise on February 21st, 2018, Cosco raised a cheque amounting to N4,887,493.17k equivalent to $13,000 with an undertaking to pay the balance of N3,562,226.62k after due reconciliation among the parties. After the reconciliation, Cosco reneged to pay the agreed sum.
While on this matter, another company, Charcol Global Concept laid complaints against Cosco on detention of consignment at the seaport terminal after customs release arising from accumulated demurrages. Shippers’ Council investigated and found out that the delay was not at the instance of the shipper and requested Cosco to waive the demurrage. A warning letter was written to Cosco in this regard but the line refused to comply. This prompted the second sealing of Cosco on May 30th, 2018.
On May 31st, there was a reconciliatory meeting between Shippers’ Council and Cosco where the line agreed to comply as earlier agreed. Cosco paid the balance of N3,562,226.62k, waived the demurrage arising from the second complainant ‘Charcoal Global Concept’ and got a50% waiver from the terminal operator for the consignee. Consequently, Cosco’s office was opened on May 31st, 2018.
Recall that the Executive Secretary of NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello recently visited Maersk Line, CMA CGM and Grimaldi to sensitize the shipping agents on the need to comply with the National Action Plan on the ease of doing business procedures such as; mandatory transmission of manifest to Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) by shipping lines seven days before arrival of vessels and timely issuance of rotation numbers of vessels by the Customs.
The recent sealing of companies is in line with NSC’s port economic regulation which empowers the Council to establish an effective regulatory regime for the control of tariff, rates, charges and other economic activities.